Can a Catholic Vote for Obama?



You can read the article HERE


Edited for brevity but it is still long and emphasis added.

Pro-Life Catholics For Obama
Should abortion be the litmus test for political support?

By George Weigel | NEWSWEEK
Published Oct 14, 2008

The logic of pro-Obama Catholics is exemplified by a quote of Duquesne University law professor Nicholas Cafardi:

First: Catholics have, as a matter of law, “lost the abortion battle … and I believe that we have lost it permanently.” Second, abortion is not the only “intrinsic evil” of the day; the Bush administration has been guilty of committing acts that are “intrinsically evil” in its policies on interrogation of terrorist suspects, in its failures after Hurricane Katrina and in its detention of terrorism suspects at Guantánamo Bay. Third, Senator Obama “supports government action that would reduce the number of abortions,” including an “adequate social safety net for poor women who might otherwise have abortions.”

The argument, in sum: the constitutional and legal arguments that have raged since Roe vs. Wade are over, and Catholics have lost; there are many other “intrinsic evils” that Catholics are morally bound to oppose, and Republicans tend to ignore those evils; liberalized social-welfare policies will drive down the absolute numbers of abortions and Senator Obama is an unabashed liberal on these matters. Therefore, a vote for Obama is the “real” pro-life vote.

But Barack Obama has an unalloyed record of support for abortion on demand. Moreover, he seems to understand Roe vs. Wade and subsequent Supreme Court decisions as having defined abortion as a fundamental liberty right essential for women’s equality, meaning that government must guarantee access to abortion in law and by financial assistance—a moral judgment and a policy prescription the pro-life Catholic Obama boosters say they reject.

According to his own Web site, Obama supports the federal Freedom of Choice Act [FOCA], which would eliminate all state and federal regulation of abortion (such as informed consent and parental notification in the case of minors seeking an abortion); these regulations have demonstrably reduced the absolute number of abortions in the jurisdictions in which they are in effect. FOCA would also eliminate, by federal statute, state laws providing “conscience clause” protection for pro-life doctors who decline to provide abortions. Obama (along with the Democratic Party platform) supports federal funding for abortion, opposes the Hyde amendment (which restricts the use of taxpayer monies for abortion) and has pledged to repeal the “Mexico City policy” (initiated by Ronald Reagan and reinstated by George W. Bush, which bans federal foreign-aid funding for organizations that perform and promote abortion as a means of family planning). According to the pro-choice Web site RHRealityCheck.org,

Obama also opposes continued federal funding for crisis pregnancy centers.


Then there is the continuing controversy over Obama’s role in the Illinois state legislature when that body was considering an “infants born alive” protection act that would extend full legal protection to infants who survive a late-term abortion. According to the Annenberg Political Fact Check, Obama opposed the 2001 and 2002 Illinois “born alive” bills on the grounds that they were attempts to undermine Roe vs. Wade but said he would have supported an Illinois bill similar to the federal “born alive” legislation signed by President Bush in 2002. Yet, according to Annenberg, “Obama voted in committee against the 2003 state bill that was nearly identical to the federal bill he says he would have supported.” However one sorts out the conflicting claims in this often-bitter debate, in which charges of infanticide and lying have been hurled, there can be no doubt that Barack Obama did not make his own the cause of legal protection for infants who survive an abortion.


The “social safety net” component of the pro-life, pro-Obama argument may seem, at first blush, to make sense. Yet it, too, runs up against stubborn facts: for example, Sweden, with a much thicker social safety net than the United States, has precisely the same rate (25%) of abortions per pregnancy as America. As for the claim, often repeated by pro-life, pro-Obama Catholics, that more financially generous welfare policies would drive down abortion rates because financial pressure is a predominant cause of abortion, another stubborn fact intrudes: according to a survey conducted by the research arm of Planned Parenthood, the Guttmacher Institute, a mere 23% of abortions in the United States are performed primarily because of alleged financial need. There is also what some would consider the insuperable problem of squaring a concern for fostering alternatives to abortion with Senator Obama’s opposition to federal funding of crisis pregnancy centers that provide precisely those alternatives. Moreover, the Freedom of Choice Act Obama has pledged to sign forbids publicly supported programs helping pregnant women from “discriminating” against abortion. Thus a federal Pregnant Women Support Act—a key plank in the platform of pro-life congressional Democrats—would, in Orwellian fashion, be legally bound by FOCA to include support for abortion.

As for the claim that the legal argument is over, and lost, that, too, seems belied by the evidence. Roe vs. Wade remains deeply controversial, in the culture and among legal scholars. Since 1989, the Supreme Court has shown a willingness, on occasion, to uphold laws regulating abortion clinics or banning certain forms of abortion. No Clinton-appointed justice contributed to that trend; it seems very unlikely that Obama nominees would extend the trend. In that respect, a pro-life, pro-Catholic Obama vote is not so much a recognition that the legal argument is over but, de facto, a vote to repeal the legal protections for the unborn that have been laboriously crafted in the 35 years since Roe eliminated the abortion law of all 50 states.


Another line of critique against the pro-life, pro-Catholic Obama activists has been mounted by, among others, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who holds a doctorate in political philosophy and currently serves as president of the U.S. bishops’ conference. In a September letter to the people of the archdiocese of Chicago, the cardinal laid down what he described as a basic principle of justice:

in a just society, innocent human life, especially when incapable of self-defense, deserves the protection of the laws. No one who denies that, the cardinal argued, can claim to be advancing the common good.

And, as Roe vs. Wade does indeed deny the protection of the laws to the unborn, no one can, with any moral or logical consistence, claim to support both Roe vs. Wade and the common good. It’s one or the other.


Similarly, two New York bishops, William Murphy of Rockville Centre and Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, the present and immediate past chairmen of the U.S. bishops’ committee on domestic policy, implicitly challenged the position of Kmiec, Kaveny, Cafardi (Catholics for Obama) and others in a Sept. 24 letter to The New York Times.

According to a Sept. 18 Times article, the U.S. bishops’ statement on the 2008 election, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” had been crafted so as to “explicitly allow Catholics to vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights if they do so for other reasons.” That was simply not true, according to DiMarzio and Murphy, who said that “Faithful Citizenship” states that a Catholic can support a pro-abortion candidate “only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences….” Moreover, the bishops concluded, “this standard of ‘grave moral reasons’ is a very high standard to meet.”

The pro-Obama, pro-life Catholics would doubtless reply that that standard has been met in this instance. But that claim still leaves them with a problem. As Cardinal George’s letter indicated, the Catholic Church’s teaching on the intrinsic evil of abortion involves a first principle of justice that can be known by reason, that’s one of the building blocks of a just society, and that ought never be compromised—which is why, for example, Catholic legislators were morally obliged to oppose legal segregation (another practice once upheld by a Supreme Court decision that denied human beings the full protection of the laws). Questions of war and peace, social-welfare policy, environmental policy and economic policy, on the other hand, are matters of prudential judgment on which people who affirm the same principles of Catholic social doctrine can reasonably differ. The pro-life, pro-Obama Catholics are thus putting the full weigh of their moral argument on contingent prudential judgments that, by definition, cannot bear that weight….

Continue reading

Advertisements

Freedom of Conscience


Q. Aren’t we free to follow our conscience even if we disagree with the teachings of the Catholic Church?

A. No. The true voice of our conscience is the law of God written on our hearts. If the “voice” of our conscience seems to be conflicting with Church teaching then it is NOT the actual voice of our conscience but the voice of Our Enemy enticing us away from the Truth. Unless your heart is completely hardened you will hear a still soft voice saying to your heart, “This is the Way, walk in it.” You will actually know which voice is True, if you sincerely try to discern the truth. But, you may not want to follow it, and so try to convince your self that the Other Voice is true, the voice of our culture is true, etc. “If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart.”

Technorati Tags: , ,

Truth and Religion


 

Q.There are so many religion in the world. If we select the ones which produce a good/better person, is God now looking at the religion itself or the good/better person produced?

A. God looks at the HEART. He has revealed to man through His Chosen People and Prophets of the Old Testament and also, even more clearly through His Son Jesus what He requires in order for a person to save his soul from eternal damnation. But He did not stop there. He founded a Church on Earth to be a light to the nations to show them the way to Heaven. He promise to be with His Church until the end of time and that the Gates of Hell would never overcome it. He did not stop there either. He gave us sacraments to impart grace in order to strenghthen us to stay ON the path to Eternal Life. He gave us priests. He gave us Holy Scripture. He gives HIMSELF to us at every mass. We have the very best chance of attaining Heaven in the Chruch He gave to us.

We don’t choose our religion based on which people seem to be the best sort of people. Time may prove our choice very wrong. We should choose our religion based on which one is TRUER than the rest. Which one is the ONE God started? And that would be the Catholic Church.

Q. In spiritual learning, is listening to what is preached or written more absolute than what is experienced?

A. Yes. We might have a true experience but it may be an experience produced by the Enemy or just our own imagination. Feelings come and go. We must search for TRUTH.

Q. A Family in the deepest jungle living from generation to generation without exposure to Religion and the modern world, knows only to care lovingly for their young with great morality. Because they lack any knowledge of R.C., are they destined to hell or purgatory?

A.Hell no. Purgatory, probably, just like the rest of us. God will judge all people based on what they knew and how they responded to that knowledge -not on what they did not know. He has written His laws on our hearts. No one will go to Hell just because they are not Catholic. That is heretical. Catholics, Protestants, Pagans, and everyone will be judged on what they did about what they knew. Listen to that still small voice of conscience.

 

Q. Being a God to the people is probably like being a Parent to children, don’t you think? Being a parent, never in my deepest heart would I want to send my children to hell for their wrongdoings.

A. God does not want anyone to go to Hell. He wants everyone to come to Heaven and be with Him. But some people do not want God and God will not override their freedom to choose Him or reject Him. Their souls, being eternal have to go somewhere.

Q. As Jesus would say, “Lord forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing”. If a soldier abused a person as he was ordered to do, does he know what he’s doing?

A. Yes. He knows. He may try to ignore this knowledge. He may try to rationalize his actions. But God KNOWS what the soldier knows and what he truly does not know. It won’t be any use trying to fool God on Judgment Day.

Q. If a person forces his freewill upon other person for control, does he knows what he’s doing?

A. I cannot say. Only that person knows. If he is forcing the other person to sin then he will be more responsible for the sin than the person forced to sin. If, indeed they are truly forced and not just persuaded or coerced. For instance, a mother who forces her daughter to have an abortion. Abortion is always a grave sin but guilt would be less for the daughter than for the mother.